In times of uncertainty I consume. For most of the adoption journey, mindful of my health and determined to lose weight, I have avoided filling my face with ‘goodies’. Instead I have carefully and methodically bought things for our future child or children: books, toys, crafts, and more that most children would like. For each item I have mentally calculated who we could gift it to, should the worst happen, and we were not matched. Once we were matched, I could buy more specifically, focusing on the needs and likes of Little Chick. As time has rumbled on and my confidence in him ever being placed with us wanes, my shopping habits have tailed off. But my need to consume has remained and food has filled that need. I am fed up, literally and metaphorically. I have put on over a stone in the past four months. Uncertainty is an explanation but not an excuse. I swore I would never be as big as before I started losing weight and I stand by that.

I’m not writing this to gain your sympathy or even to just have a good moan. I need the accountability. Telling people that I need to and will be better with my diet and exercise is the first step in managing my consumption. It is also the first step on a path to good self-care, something I will need to be better at as an adoptive parent.

Accentuate the positives

Although my mental health dictates that I periodically suffer from low moods, I would describe myself as a generally positive person. Reading back over the posts I realise that anger and melancholy runs through my writing (I have since removed some of these posts out of respect for everyone else involved, particularly Little Chick’s birth family). Although it reflects my mindset at the time of writing, I’m not entirely happy about that.

Yes, our adoption journey to date has been largely frustrating, but it has not been hopeless. Because without hope we would have given up by now. We didn’t decide to adopt to fulfil a need, fill a hole in our relationship. Our life before we started the adoption process was great, fantastic even. We had each other and wanted for nothing. Adoption promised one huge potential positive but there seemed far more possible negatives. It made little sense to pursue adoption and we’re both logical people, the kind who overthink and over analyse, strangers to spontaneity.

But we continued. Because despite the possible pitfalls outweighing the potential rewards, we both felt that we would be great parents, that we could meet a child’s needs.

So, after that rambling preamble, let’s hear some positivity.

  1. The delays mean we can properly plan for Christmas. We did not know whether Little Chick would be with us and, if he was, what would be appropriate. Now we can make concrete plans and focus on others. While not meaning to be, we will be less available to friends and family in the coming months so we can give them our time and attention now.
  2. Little Chick is safe and happy with his foster carer. Christmas can be a magical time, but it can also be quite unsettling, so it’s better that he is somewhere familiar, with people he knows. It also gives his foster carer more time to prepare him for the move, which will hopefully benefit everyone in the long term.
  3. We can take the time to better prepare ourselves for Little Chick’s arrival: cooking more meals for the freezer, deep cleaning each room, making everywhere child friendly. We can continue to read around general adoption issues and areas that we believe will be specific to Little Chick’s needs.
  4. We have spent a lot of time preparing our friends and family, but most of this has been generic in terms of adoption and/or small children. Now we can talk specifically about Little Chick.
  5. While we cannot wait to welcome Little Chick, we recognise that we won’t have much time left to just be a couple. We can take the time to watch box sets together, have lazy duvet days, go out for meals, do grown up stuff. Just be.